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Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Leslie Blair

group shot of Kuhn Scholars

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Consortium (IE).  IE began in UT’s Graduate School in 1996; in 2006 IE became part of the newly created Division of Diversity & Engagement (DDCE), a vice presidential portfolio dedicated to integrating diversity into the core mission of the university and integrating community engagement into teaching, research and service.

With a mission to educate citizen scholars, IE has enrolled more than 7,000 graduate and undergraduate students representing all of UT’s colleges and schools.  More than 60% of the IE participants are either the first in their family to attend college, members of underrepresented minority groups or come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

We are proud of IE’s national reputation. The program has been endorsed by dozens of university chancellors, presidents and leaders in higher education. Dr. Rick Cherwitz, founder and director of IE and the Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial Professor in Communication, said, “We are honored to have received so many awards and to be the subject of hundreds of publications and news stories. But most of all, we are humbled by the numerous accomplishment of our students.”

group shot of Kuhn Scholars
The 2013 IE Kuhn Scholars pose with Michael and Alice Kuhn (bottom row left) and Dr. Rick Cherwitz (second from right, next to bottom row), director of IE. Each semester 10-12 students from first-generation college or economically disadvantaged backgrounds receive stipends to participate in IE.

For more information about IE and links to stories about students who have participated in IE, visit ddce.utexas.edu/ie/.